Rejection. It is a word that evokes many reactions inside me. It messes with my ability to have joy. I recently finished “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst with my bible study group. A book that is now pen marked full of quotes and personal notes throughout. It messed with my thinking. God grabbed my attention and answered a question I have often struggled with – what triggers my anxiety and fear. What is the root?? The fear of being rejected. Unwanted. Unseen. From the very little to the very big, what response will I receive. As I read this book, my Bible, listened to sermons at church and lived life – God revealed some big rejections that have impacted all areas of my life. Lysa said it eloquently “Messy realities in the midst of the miracles.” (pg 161)…it sums up well what God has been doing. Those messy life moments are pivotal moments in which there have been miracles that have emerged. Some of those miracles are still emerging. The odd thing is my anxiety and fears have subsided as I have named the fear, as I have faced what I have allowed for a long time to be un-named, unacknowledged. The last few chapters of her book remind me of truths I have learned walking through those pivotal dark moments, facing the pain and not running away is part of the key to emerging on the other side.
When I am rejected what is my default reaction? I tend to shut down. To be very quick to accept that it must mean I am not “called” to do that thing. Or that I am not fit enough, qualified enough, good enough for whatever I was rejected with. But I have been challenged to change my perspective. “Today’s disappointment is making room for tomorrow’s appointment.” (p.131). Oh, how I want that perspective, that response allows me to live in joy. Smile through the pain. Smile through the triumphs. Smile through the tears. A smile that begins in the heart and oozes out – not from a place that is fleeting but from a place where I am so secure in the Father’s love that I see even this painful moment as the loving gesture that it is. The Father does not want me to not be perfected. He does not want me to be just like everyone else – He wants me to be a polished jewel. The unique created design that He has created me to be.
When I live from a place of security in the Father’s arms, a fully abandoned abundant life of following Jesus – what would that look like? It looks like a woman whose heart is humble, who is on her knees before the Father allowing her heart to stay soft. Pain tends to harden us not soften us. “The pain isn’t the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists. Pain is the reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination knowing there’s healing on the other side.” (pg. 173) Over the years, as a mom to a beautiful young man with autism, through a painful divorce, too being laid off from a job that I loved (just a few of the big moments) – pain has shown up. Its not always as rejection, but I cannot avoid pain. Yet don’t we often see pain on some level as rejection – even us believing the lie that somehow we have not measured up to God and therefore He has rejected us and the pain is a punishment. If I never experience pain I would be unable to relate to my fellow human beings. All humanity has experienced pain of some kind. I love that Jesus experienced pain and understands what it is like to live life here on earth. Its easy for me to forget that HE understands.
I must say that my heart was messed with reading this book. Encouraged and challenged to see rejection from a different view point, widen what rejection looks like – face how it is effecting how I am living my life. I am reminded of the power of God’s word, it is a powerful weapon. The Word encourages, challenges, equips, heals and disciplines me. As I walk forward I want to remember to not flee the pain but to stay, to not believe the lies of the enemy, to believe that God has a purpose, to move to my knees and pray – embracing the Word and allowing myself to let God fill me so that I am able to be a blessing to others. The Father continues to challenge me to live from a place where I am full with His presence, overflowing with His love. A different view of the life I am walking – blessed to be a blessing to the world around vs needy and looking to be needed and filled by the world.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” Psalm 91: 14-16 (NKJV)
Books Cited: Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
New King James Version of the Bible